3D printer is considered to be one of the major trends of the future. The applications seem in almost unlimited. So, alreadya chest and an artificial tooth from a 3D printer in patients were implanted in the health sector. Also a whole hotel was builtby 3D. The printer however can do their job, they need a digital 3D model of the item to be produced first. One easiest toproduce, by shooting down an already existing item with a 3D scanner. So far, these are however relatively expensive – butnow, “Brown University” researchers have developed a low-cost alternative.
So far, 3D scanners operate on a simple principle: the object is illuminated with different light patterns. This can be, for example, a grid. A 3D image can then be construct based on the deformation of the individual lines. The problem: All thedetails accurately to portray an extremely precise synchronization between the projector and camera is necessary. This canbe – achieved only using expensive software, which in turn makes the 3D-scanners so expensive. Therefore, the idea ofscientists “Brown University” bypasses this part. Instead multiple photos are shot with a Smartphone in a very short time in a row – the camera‘s continuous shooting function is used simply.
Then two different algorithms are used in the processing of these images. The first is the much more complicated. It scanseach image pixel by pixel and then calculates pictures where only exactly a light pattern can be seen. The exactsynchronisation between the projector and the camera is then no longer necessary, because the algorithm collects therequired images in an emergency from multiple photos. In a second step the classic 3D projection is calculated from theseimages – so as it runs off in a classic 3D printer. The results of the Smartphone scans are quality comparable with thosemore expensive 3D scanners.